In November 1980, The Washington Post ran an article with the headline, "Electronics Threaten NYSE Monopoly". The piece detailed how, after two centuries, the New York Stock Exchange’s "ancient monopoly" was crumbling beneath the weight of regulatory change, technology and "old-fashioned competition". Fast-forward nearly four decades and the JSE finds itself in a similar spot. While it might be a step too far to suggest that the mighty JSE’s monopoly remains anything but a monopoly, SA’s financial markets have undergone an indelible change over the past 18 months. Thanks to changes to the Financial Markets Act, which have prevented unlicensed companies from trading their shares over the counter (OTC), and a handful of entrepreneurs armed with cutting-edge technology, four new stock exchanges have entered the fray. Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the onslaught on the bourse’s decades-old dominance is how overdue it is. But have the new exchanges made any difference at all...

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